Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth

Handout 3: Five Cents

Excerpted from Chattanooga by Ishmael Reed (New York: Random House, 1973). Permission granted by Lowenstein Associates, Inc.

If I had a nickel

For all the women who've

Rejected me in my life

I would be the head of the

World Bank with a flunkie

To hold my derby as i

Prepared to fly chartered

Jet to sign a check

Giving India a new lease

On life

If I had a nickel for

All the women who've loved

Me in my life I would be

The World Bank's assistant

Janitor and wouldn't need

To wear a derby

All I'd think about would

Be going home.